Klingons, Worf in particular, have become synonymous with Star Trek allies, but that wasn’t originally how they were meant to be.
The warrior race was originally intended to be hardcore enemies of the Federation with no redeemable qualities. In The Making of Star Trek, co-authored by Gene Roddenberry, the Klingons were supposed to be more powerful than the Romulans. In fact, they were meant to be even more devious than the Romulans as well. [via ForgottenTrek]
In their creation, the Klingons didn’t adhere to any rules, cruelty was something to be admired, honor was despicable, and they were a society that was more interested in personal gain than making allies. And that led them to use their ships much like privateers, and they’d make war whenever they could as they were simply not a good race.
Star Trek producer Robert Justman reminded Fred Freiberger that the Klingons were highly aggressive and self-seeking.
When Star Trek: The Original Series’ “Day of the Dove” was being made Robert Justman wrote to producer Fred Freiberger to remind him that they could never “set up a situation whereby those adversaries of ours give any indication of ever being anything but highly aggressive and self-seeking opponents.”
But this wasn’t a stance that Gene Roddenberry agreed with as during a 1990 SeaTrek cruise, Majel Roddenberry, said her husband never liked the Klingons because they were portrayed as being all bad, and he didn’t believe there was such thing as a race that was all bad.”
Imagine the difference this would have made in all of Star Trek had this rule been adhered to. We would never have had Worf on the bridge of the Enterprise much less at Deep Space Nine, and Lt. B’Elanna Torres would never have been the chief engineer of the Voyager. She probably wouldn’t have even been in the Maquis.
Yes, there was a time when the Klingons were enemies of the Federation, but over the years, the race developed into a gruff, sometimes trustworthy ally of the Federation. And in spite of their past war, they are at least willing to help when needed. Of course, they’re equally as willing to go to war again if needed.
And that’s the best way they could have been created, as Roddenberry said, no race is all bad. But neither is a race all good. The Klingons, though not all of them, stand out from the crowd as both warriors who believe in honor and the value of friendship. And a good day to die.